Owning a construction business can be a self-rewarding experience and opportunity for financial independence; however, it’s also a very competitive marketplace. Venturing into a siding contractor business is no different, and it can be a dog-eat-dog world, but for those individuals who have the right attitude and competitive edge? They can find great success in this industry.
The Key Components
When it comes to starting a siding business, there are key components to starting a successful siding business. One of the first things you should consider is your brand and designing a logo that can be incorporated into your business cards, letterheads, workforce apparel, yard signs, and graphic designs for your company vehicles. The more professional your business appears, the better your odds are of getting opportunities to bid and win siding projects.
Most states will require that you obtain a contractors license before bidding on projects. To be eligible for a license, you’ll need to be 18 years of age or older, have the required skills and experience, pass a contractors examination and have a clean criminal record. Although some states have been loosening criminal record requirements to make it easier for those with a criminal record to obtain a license.
Another key component is being an expert in your field. You should know how to install all of the latest siding applications according to the manufacturer’s suggested installation methods. This is important because if a siding product is not installed correctly, it can void the warranty, which can cost your business valuable start-up money.
Tools of the Trade
Siding itself doesn’t require a lot of hand and power tools; however, it’s an environment where workplace safety is paramount. In order to safely perform and install siding, you will need a variety of equipment including:
- Extension ladders
- Pump jacks
- Aluminum planks
- Toe boards
- Safety nets
- Fall protection equipment
- Metal break
There’s no question the list above is a substantial investment, but it’s also an essential part of the siding business. Your next major investment will be your company vehicles and job trailer to haul your equipment. Image is everything in this business. Your company truck and job trailer should have your logo and phone number on them. This not only builds brand awareness, but it also portrays an image of professionalism. Also don’t forget to consider vinyl siding insulation as an option as well.
Responsibilities of Siding Contractors
Being the owner of a siding business comes with a lot of responsibilities. Your biggest responsibility will always be for the safety of your workforce. People die falling from a height of just six feet. Your workforce will always be subject to higher heights; therefore, your responsibility is to ensure staging and scaffolding is securely attached and constructed properly, fall protection training/education/usage is being implemented and every employee knows your emergency first aid procedures.
The next responsibly will be your legal obligations. Most states require building contractors to be licensed; therefore, you will need to check with your local government and obtain necessary licensing. You will also need to have a contractor’s insurance policy that includes a general liability policy and worker’s compensation package.
Depending on the type of business you want to run? You will need some type of accounting or payroll service for yourself and your employees such as infinitaccounting.com. If you plan on utilizing a payroll service, they will take care of all of the appropriate federal and state taxes as well as social security payments and unemployment premiums for each employee.
You also have the option of hiring your workers as a subcontractor and issuing them a 1099 tax form; however, they will need to meet the same licensing and insurance requirements as yourself.
How Contractors Can Find Siding Leads and Clients
Once your business is equipped with the proper siding equipment and your fleet and workforce looks the part? It’s time to hit the pavement and make your business known. Riding through residential subdivisions where new construction is occurring is the best place to start. Some of your best clients will be general contractors or homeowners who live in the neighborhood. Be sure to talk about certainteed vinyl siding as well.
Believe it or not, there’s a good chance that after a few initial conversations, you may find a contractor who’s tired of his current siding contractor and hire you on the spot. All it takes is one job to get the ball rolling. That’s why it’s so important to have your business signs planted in plain view because word-of-mouth is your best form of advertising. Also be sure to talk up features like insulated vinyl siding as great options.
People will take notice and even stop in to see you about their own siding project, and if you impress the general contractor? There’s a good chance you’ll be siding all of their projects without a bidding war.
Additionally, you can also find siding leads online by registering your siding business with reputable referral sites and placing your business cards on local advertising boards in public stores. Building a successful siding business will not happen overnight; however, if you treat every job like your own, the work will eventually come to you.